Wherever there is snow, you can bet there will be a snowman. Maybe not in every yard, but in many of them. I’m not sure who first has the idea to make a snowman, but once it got started, it caught on quickly. Now it is simply a winter tradition, and if the littlest ones are too little, their parents will build it fir them or assist in building it if need be.
The building of the first snowman is unknown, but Bob Eckstein, author of The History of the Snowman documented snowmen back to medieval times. He researched paintings in European museums, art galleries, and libraries. The earliest documentation he found was a marginal illustration from a work titled Book of Hours from 1380, found in Koninklijke Bibliotheek, in The Hague. Who knew that snowmen went back that far.
When it comes to the tallest snowman, we would have to clarify the 122 feet 1 inch snowman, was actually a snow woman. She was built in 2008 in Bethel, Maine, and was named in honor of Olympia Snowe, a United States Senator representing the state of Maine. In 2015, a man from the Wisconsin was noted for making a large snowman 22 feet tall and with a base 12 feet wide. Still, the average snowman stands between three and six feet tall, because that is the height that the average builder takes the time to do. There are several ways to build a snowman, and in fact the styles can be very creative, or total disasters, depending on the abilities of the builder. Some people are even snowman artists. Their snowmen look like actual sculptures.
As kids, my sisters and I have built more snowmen than we can count. Some turned out great and others, not so much. I don’t recall seeing a lot of pictures of our snowmen, but we came across one of my sister, Cheryl Masterson building one that I’m sure our dad must have helped with. I suppose that milestones like building your first snowman didn’t exactly fall into place the same category as those first steps or high school graduation, but it is still a first. Unfortunately, like most of the lesser firsts, there isn’t usually as much documentation as the subsequent children come along. Or it could be that little firsts like snowmen just don’t seem all that important when you have multiple children. They are just another winter tradition.
Some people are just naturally goofy. They make you laugh at every turn, and the jokes and funny comments seem to just roll off their tongue. And quite often, it doesn’t stop at just what they say, but continues right on into what they do. My niece Kellie is like that. Practically from the moment she was born, she was a giggle box and constantly doing things to make people laugh. And her laugh…well, contagious if putting it mildly. I can hardly remember a time when I have seen Kellie without a smile on her face. That is because she is one of those people who go through life unaffected by the negativity that goes on around her.
Kellie is so full of life, and she has a way of drawing others into her world…even if they can’t figure out how to stay for very long…mostly because their own lives get in the way of it. But Kellie, lives in a world of fun and laughter that is very much her own. I like being drawn into Kellie’s world, because it gives me a chance to be a kid again…or at least, a Wee One as Kellie calls me and my girls. We are among the shortest ones in the family, and Kellie is among the tallest, so she can do that…along with picking us up in a great big bear hug. Then she puts us back down on the ground and laughs delightedly about it. You just never know what Kellie might do…or what she might dress up like for that matter.
Kellie has no enemies, and especially not animals. She loves her kitties and her dog, and you just never know…she might even kiss a dolphin when given the opportunity. And it seems quite obvious to me that the dolphin was quite taken with Kellie, but then, why should the dolphin be different. Everyone who knows Kellie is quite taken with her.
The thing that is really amazing about Kellie, though, is that while she can be very funny, and a total jokster, she has a sweetness about her that is unmatched. She loves everyone, and they love her. With her knack for happiness, also comes a knack for kindness. And she has a love for beautiful things…especially music. Kellie has a sweet spirit, a love for the Lord, and a beautiful voice that is a joy to listen to…especially when she is singing worship songs to God. It is my honor to know you Kellie. You are a great blessing to many!! Love you, and happy birthday!!
It has been a long standing tradition to have a New Years Eve Party at my mother’s house because her birthday is on New Years Day. Another long standing tradition was the annual checking of all the grandchildren’s heights. Each child got to get their mark, and when we were all done, everyone looked to see how much everyone had grown…or in some cases in our family, not grown. After a while, the adults wanted in too, so we all got measured. My brother-in-law, Chris was and is the reigning King of Height in our family, but for a while there we weren’t so sure. It appeared that his son Ryan might have a chance to pass Chris up, but in the end, that did not happen.
We have a wide range of heights in our family…and I’m talking about the adults. From little Siara, who at nearly 18 years of age, comes screaming in at 4’9″, to Chris who stands 6’4″. And our family isn’t small in numbers either with 57 current members, so that door got pretty crowded after a while, and the prior years weren’t erased, so everyone could see how far they had come in a year.
Some of us just knew that we would be neither a contender for the tallest or the shortest member, but would fall somewhere in the middle. We have had several of the little girls vying for the shortest girl. Chantel, Amy, Siara, Christina, and Shai all come in under 5′. We have several girls in the barely 5′ range, those being, Cheryl, Corrie, Liz, and Jenny. The rest of us fall somewhere in between 5’2″ and 5’11” until you get to some of the guys. Some of them fall in the 6′ and above range, with Ryan at 6’3″ and his dad, Chris at 6’4″.
We all looked at the door off and on, because it was a novelty item. It held so many years of growth for so many people. It isn’t often that you can look back at a glance…at least not for most of us. Most parents keep track of how tall their kids are for a while, but after a time, they forget, and skip a year here and there, until finally they give up all together. Our tradition was remembered, because one or more of the kids always brought it up on New Years Eve.